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A Simple Diy Thanksgiving Place Setting

by Destri on November 8, 2010

We are so excited to get this series off and running!  You can expect to see at least a couple posts a day on all things Thanksgiving.  We are really trying to give this holiday its due.  Recipes to wow everyone at the table, including green beans so tasty, everyone will be going back for seconds.  Potatoes so good they could stand alone as a meal, and of course turkey (it’s really good, you don’t want to miss it).  We’ll share traditions to help make the holiday memorable and fun, including something for the ladies while the men watch football.  So please pop in a couple times a day, and feel free to share with anyone you think might like it.  A big thank you in advance!

I should mention in preparing this series we had a theme of “Thanksgiving Alternatives” in mind.  Ideas and recipes you would normally not see at Thanksgiving, at least not at ours.  We hope to shake up the “usual suspects”.

Let’s get started!

Setting The Table And The Mood

After spending oodles of time and money on the food it’s definitely justifying to say you get a pass on the table.  But dressing the table doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming.  Just a few simple touches will set the the tone for dinner, and emphasize the significance of the meal. Plus it’s fun for everyone, and heck, you’ve spent so much time on the food, why not give it the platform it deserves?

Simple Diy Thanksgiving Table Setting

For this place setting I kept things simple by using some pine cones and evergreen needles my kids and I picked up at the park, a napkin we found at the dollar store, and ribbon we had on hand.


The pine cones were perfect, we found a bunch that were still attached to the twig.  I already had the charger and plate, so total out of pocket for me was one dollar for the napkin.  The idea is to just try and use what you have around the house and what you can use from outside to keep the overall cost down.

For the table you could lay some nuts around the center with some nut crackers, giving everyone something to eat and do while waiting for the main event without killing their appetite.  Put the food at varying heights by using bowls and cake stands.  Add a few candles, some pretty glasses, and you have an easy tablescape that leaves the focus where it should be, on the food.

Thanksgiving Place Setting

Switch Up The Seating

Now for the alternative part.  Instead of place cards with the guests names, why not surprise them by switching things up?  Take the amount of people attending and place a little numbered piece of paper for each in a jar.  When it comes time to sit, have everyone draw out a number.  They then sit at the seat with the number they drew.  This is so much fun! I went to a dinner party years ago where the hostess had done this and it was a hit.  I didn’t sit with my husband, which at first I thought would be awkward.  In the end it was great because I could carry on a conversation without him kicking me under the table, and he could talk without me interrupting him!  After dinner he even mentioned how fun the idea was.  I think this would be great for families too, might just make for some interesting conversation!  Kids would sit with someone other than mom and dad and share their secrets, the reclusive sister-in-law just might break out of her shell.  I hope some of you try this and then come back to report.

Not having Thanksgiving at your house, going to your mothers this year? Might I suggest offering to set the table?  Or maybe if you are having it at your house you could assign one of your kids or guests the honor. Getting everyone involved will make it more fun.  I am going home to my moms this year and I can’t wait, she is reading this right now finding out that I will be setting the table!  Surprise mom!

Now, here is the part we look for your participation, sometimes the best ideas come from the comments!  We may just have to compile all of them in the end!

What are some fun and unique ideas you have seen for the table?  Seating ideas, place settings, unique ways to make the table fun.

We will be back later today with the best little potatoes.  Seriously, they need to be eaten twice a week they’re so good.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Admitted Fabricaholic November 8, 2010 at 7:08 am

Beautiful, and why not put the abundance of pine cones in my backyard to good use this year?! :)

I found this the other day and loved the idea for my kids table:


Destri November 8, 2010 at 7:11 am

I saw that too! I loved it! Thank you so much for posting the link, I had forgotten where I had found it.


vonnie November 8, 2010 at 8:01 am

That’s it! You are in charge of all the table decorations for dinner this year. 21 people and all the trimmings are expected at your table. All this talent and it didn’t come from me. I’m starting to think that they switched baby’s in the nursery at the hospital.


Destri November 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Thought you might like that…21? Sheesh!


Hadley November 8, 2010 at 10:03 am

I was thinking about getting the end of a roll of newsprint (our local paper sells them for $5), roll it out on the kids table and draw rectangles for their placemats and let them all decorate their place setting.

I love the place setting you showed, and I love setting up the buffet at different heights and such!


Destri November 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm

love this idea, and never thought to check out the local paper. That would even be perfect for just crafts! Great idea.


Michelle November 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm

We are totally on the same wavelength, Destri. I was just writing a post about the little things we add to our Thanksgiving table every year. All kids crafts, and all of them bring back great memories of Thanksgivings past.


RG November 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm

At the risk of sounding very unrefined, a question. What is the appropriate thing as a guest to do with the various napkin rings, or in this case, ribbon, pine cones, sprigs, when it comes time to use your napkin at a dinner in someone else’s home?


Destri November 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm

We did tie a little string around the pine cone and sprigs, so that when you untie the ribbon they are left together. I have always just placed them at the head of my plate, but I would think in this instance the hostess may even choose to take them from the table once dinner has started. Good question!


Barbara November 11, 2010 at 8:53 am

I love the simplicity of this table. It feels just right for the holiday. I like the natural elements that you included.


Daphne November 11, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I love using bits of nature on the table. Thanks for sharing your nice setting!

~your “neighbor” at Between Naps on the Porch Tablescape Thursday


Denise November 12, 2010 at 6:55 am

Now that’s my kind of table setting! Very sharp looking. And I’m crazy about the seating arrangement idea. That will be fun to use. I’ve made little place card holders, but haven’t put names on them yet. Now I’ll be writing down numbers instead.


Destri November 12, 2010 at 11:46 am

Oh let me know how it goes!


Sandra November 12, 2010 at 8:39 am

Of all the tablesettings on Tip Junkie Thanksgiving Name Card Tutorials I liked yours the BEST!


Destri November 12, 2010 at 11:47 am

Ah Sandra, thanks, there is some pretty cute stuff over there, so I take that as the best compliment :)


Alycia Nichols November 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Very pretty place setting, and the napkin idea is wonderful! I’m glad to see the use of a simple white plate as so many people are stumped about how to dress one up. I’m sure a lot of people will benefit from your DiY tips! Have a great weekend!


Entertaining Women November 13, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I have a friend who took a white tablecloth and had each family member place a freshly painted hand on the border around the cloth. Names and the year are added to each handprint, and as grandbabies come along, little bitty handprints begin to appear. As the babies grow, new handprints are added for them each year. The handprints become turkey feathers, and she uses a Sharpie to turn each one into an animated turkey. Oh, there are a number of colors of paint for family to use when applying their handprint. So fun, so personal…sure to become a precious family treasure. Cherry Kay


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